Daily The Nation: Chaudhrys support Tahirul Qadri’s reform agenda
LAHORE - Following Sunday’s announcement by the MQM to support the long march of Dr Tahirul Qadri, the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party on Monday was jolted again when another coalition partner, the PML-Q, also extended its support to Minhajul Quran chief’s reform agenda. Five senior most PML-Q leaders, Ch Shujaat Hussain, Ch Pervaiz Elahi, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Moonis Elahi and Tariq Bashir Cheema went to Model Town residence of Dr Qadri late Monday night only to assure him that their party supported his agenda of electoral reforms.
“Dr Qadri has launched a movement against corruption, rigging in elections and tyranny. And these are the very issues for which we had been raising our voice quite often. We, therefore, extend our full support to the Minhajul Quran chief as his agenda is in conformity with ours,” the PML-Q leaders told media representatives after the meeting in the presence of Dr Qadri who said they had come to congratulate him on the successful public rally of December 23. The two sides reportedly chose to brief the media in the middle of their meeting which continued till late in the night.
Pervaiz Elahi said Dr Qadri’s mission to reform the electoral system was very important. “This would strengthen democracy,” he remarked, adding they had always been in touch with Qadri even when he was abroad to seek his guidance on different issues. He also congratulated Dr Qadri for raising his voice on electoral reforms. “We feel enlightened after listening to his reform agenda,” he observed.
Ch Shujaat said his party would support Dr Qadri on his agenda of electoral reforms regardless of whether or not they were in the government or in opposition. “I have already written to the Election Commission regarding rigging in the recently held by-polls,” he said, adding the PML-N did massive rigging during the by-elections, but ECP failed to stop government machinery from doing so.
As the political analysts got involved in speculations regarding the meeting, the insiders however insisted that PML-Q leaders did not give any assurance to Dr Qadri for participation in January 14th long march. They also divulged that PML-Q team arrived at Model Town residence of Dr Qadri on latter’s invitation who wanted to consult them on his reform agenda. The Chaudhry cousins avoided a question regarding PML-Q’s participation in the long march.